Rural mental health gets a $100,000 funding boost

Beyond Blue's $100,000 donation from Zoetis

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A massive $100,000 has been raised by animal health company Zoetis, to be donated to Beyond Blue to support the mental health of rural Australians.

A massive $100,000 has been raised by animal health company Zoetis, to be donated to Beyond Blue to support the mental health of rural Australians.

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Zoetis has once again raised $100,000 to support the mental health challenges facing rural Australians.

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Animal health company Zoetis has once again raised $100,000 to support the mental health challenges facing rural Australians.

Since the campaign with Beyond Blue started in 2016, Zoetis has raised more than $500,000.

For the fifth year in a row, Zoetis has achieved its $100,000 goal by donating $5 from each sale of the company's cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches.

The funds raised have gone directly to the Beyond Blue Support Service to continue supporting people, including those living in remote areas, by providing free advice, counselling and referrals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To date, Zoetis' donations have assisted over 10,400 people in getting the support they need through Beyond Blue.

Zoetis senior vice president ANZ Lance Williams said it was a great honour to once again achieve their fundraising goal.

Mr Williams said they reconised the importance of improving mental health and tackling the tragedy of suicide, which disproportionately affected people in regional and rural areas.

"We understand the devastating effect suicide can have on rural communities," he said.

"We see first-hand the farming communities where record-breaking droughts, devastating bushfires, serious flooding and now, COVID-19, causes upset and stresses that people living in our cities may find hard to understand.

"We're incredibly passionate and whole-heartedly committed to supporting hard-working Australians with our donations and supporting our farmers, agricultural stores and veterinarians with the supply of animal health products where needed."

He said the campaign didn't stop there.

"We encourage our staff and the wider community to continue to raise awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention and help to reduce the associated stigma," he said.

Beyond Blue chief executive Georgie Harman thanked Zoetis for their efforts in supporting the important cause.

Ms Harman said it was very encouraging to see that people in rural and remote communities accessed the Beyond Blue online forums at a proportionally higher rate than people living in the cities.

This year, Beyond Blue has responded to a 30 to 40 per cent increase in demand, which peaked at 60pc in May, for its counselling service, compared to 2019.

"This additional $100,000 will help to ensure that people across Australia can access support when they need, regardless of where they live," she said.

"People living in rural and regional areas face a number of challenges which can take a toll on their wellbeing, including disasters, economic change, isolation, and poor access to services.

"While it's well known that droughts, floods and financial worries can contribute to distress for farmers, the impact on the wider community in these areas is less well-known.

"From farmers and their families, to re-sellers and regional businesses, much of the community is impacted as the effects of hard times trickle through the local economy."

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